Having had a good look at my personal highlights of the rooms 27 trade show – the retrospectives from Kei Kagami and Masaya Kushino, I thought we were a long overdue a more general look at the brands and trends on the rise that we are likely to see everywhere in SS 2014.  Thanks to the 2020 Olympics everyone has been flying the flag for Japan these last couple of weeks, which made the Mount Fuji theme of the show all the more fitting, but there was just so much we are going to be taking a look at that Japanese themed side of affairs in the second part of this series.  For now consider this a highlight reel of who to watch out for this season, there are many brands that I could recommend that we have already seen before on this site, but today is largely reserved for fresh talent we haven’t spent nearly enough time with yet.

It has to be said that the organizers outdid themselves with the layout and visuals for this rooms.  It is always excellent, but the flow of spaces and mighty Fuji that stood surveying the scene was particularly inspiring.

First up we have Maji-kun, which the eagle-eyed of you should immediately clock as the mascot for the Parisian based Japanese brand Rynshu.  This cheeky chap has been this mascot for years now, and they are expanding him into a line of its own.  Trust me, you are going to see this guy everywhere.

Next up is a retail concept from Nexis demonstrated by AW 2013 Mikio Sakabe, the clothes tags here when scanned with a smartphone take you to sharing options, lookbooks and styling examples.  Personally I like talking things through with shop staff, but especially for the social media functions this has to be commonplace before long.

Next we have Pinkymika, who I select mainly because they are an artist coming into fashion with a really strong kawaii lifestyle orientation.  From the various trade shows already this year I have seen so many illustrators or artists bridging their way into fashion and it is a trend which shows no sign of slowing down.

Very cute yet adult, and kudos for actually making the giant pin heeled chair!

Molly Tippett had my attention, partially because I went to school with someone with almost the exact same name, but mostly because I can’t get enough of animal themed jewelry – these owls are just perfect in brass.

Moving on to materials momentarily and Statice was doing wonders with these woven beauties.  Maybe the full top is a bit unwieldy, but as detailing it is just perfect.

More beautiful brass work, this time from Licoyas.  Brass is proving more popular over silver at the moment in jewelry design, silver having been over-cooked in the luxury gothic boom, and you can’t deny that for natural themes it works wonders.

New crush Dario is going from strength to strength with the darkest possible depths of kawaii culture, it is so dark, yet cute at the same time that it is almost hard to process.  At the very least I can say that the main illustration that you can see on the wall behind the mannequins is perfectly observed, and dying to be worn.

Other ideas might have gone too far – but you have to hand it to Dario for making me laugh and feel a bit uncomfortable at the same time.

Wut Berlin was looking as strong as ever, in particular the new designs from Depression were fantastic.

Joji Kojima has returned to his armor rings for another capsule collection.

Into the glasses zone and Nadeshiko Brooklyn got my vote.

Time for awards,

and a bit of nightmarish but beautiful art from Sakazume Kotaro and Ishizakayuko before we arrived at my final recommendation for today:

Sowa, a great example of the post-kawaii boom in fashion right now, with deconstructed details, surreal braids as braces and tons of detail added by hand.  This kind of work is just so popular right now with no sign of that waning whatsoever, but it requires a perfect eye to be a hit, even in this naive style people require perfection.

Stand by for a heavy dose of Japonica in Part 2, trust me, there is still so much left to see.

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